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International On Campus

12/24 Month Restriction

If you have used a J visa before, there are restrictions on when you can re-enter the United States as a J-1 research scholar or professor.

You may need to wait 1 or 2 years after your previous program’s end date before beginning a second program. These restrictions are known as the 12-month bar and the 24-month bar.

Do the Restrictions Apply to You?

These restrictions only apply to you if:

  • You plan to work as a J-1 research scholar or professor. (Restrictions do not affect your eligibility to obtain a visa in another J-1 category, such as short-term scholar, specialist, or student.)

And if you have:

  • Previously completed a J-1 exchange program, or
  • Accompanied a J-1 visitor as a dependent J-2 family member

The restrictions apply at any university or institution in the United States, not just WSU.

The 2-year home residency requirement is unrelated to the 12- or 24-month bars. You may be subject to 1 and not the other.

How Long you Need to Wait

If you plan to enter a J-1 professorship or research scholar program after completing a previous J program, the following wait times apply.

Countdown begins the day after your SEVIS record becomes inactive or terminated. Check your DS-2019 (Box number 3) to confirm your dates of participation in a previous program.

Your current or previous J visa category Previous J program duration
Wait time for a new J-1 Research Scholar/Professor visa
J-1 research scholar/professorAny amount of time (1 day to 5 years)24 months
Any J-1 category other than research scholar/professor 6 months or more12 months
J-2 dependent of J-1 research scholar/professor6 months or more

Less than 6 months
24 months

No wait
J-2 dependent of any J-1 category other than research scholar/professor 6 months or more

Less than 6 months
12 months

No wait
Short-term scholarNo wait
Washington State University